Mar 21, 2013
Self-assembly approach loads nanoparticles on RGO sheets
Graphene, a single- or few-layer sheet of graphitic carbon, has many unique electrical, mechanical, thermal and optical properties, and can be combined with other functional nanostructures to make hybrid materials with a wide range of practical applications. Controlling the size and distribution of nanomaterials on graphene sheets, however, is still a major challenge but researchers at Jiangsu University in China may have come up with a solution to this problem – by using a self-assembly approach to load CeO2 nanoparticles onto reduced graphene oxide (RGO) nanosheets. The technique might be used as a general route to attach other functional nanoparticles onto this carbon material.
As shown in the figure, CeO2 nanoparticles whose size, distribution and loading content can be well controlled are assembled onto RGO sheets to form highly integrated nanocomposites via chemisorption and van der Waals interactions.
In the study, the team showed that the RGO/CeO2 nanocomposites can act as photocatalysts for degrading methylene blue under simulated sunlight irradiation. Incorporating RGO with CeO2 into nanocomposites appears to significantly enhance the photocatalytic activity of CeO2 nanoparticles thanks to the improved separation of electron-hole pairs and enhanced light adsorption.
These hybrid materials could find use in the fields of catalysis, sensing and power.
Full details can be found in the journal Nanotechnology.
About the author
Xiaoping Shen is a professor at Jiangsu University, China, and director of the Department of Chemistry. His current research interests focus on synthesis and property of nanostructural materials including metals, metal oxides, metal sulphides, graphene-based composites and coordination polymers. He is author or co-author of more than 100 original papers in peer-reviewed international journals and 10 patents. Zhenyuan Ji is a PhD candidate under the supervision of Prof. Shen at Jiangsu University and is currently looking into the preparation and application of graphene-based materials.